Do your ribs ever hurt because you have a bra with a band that’s too tight? Or maybe your bras feel uncomfortably snug during part of the month? Or you’re between band sizes, and you always have to choose between wearing bras that are too tight or too loose? Well, if you have any of these bra fitting issues, you’ve come to the right place! I’m going to show you how to make a DIY bra band extender that’s the perfect way to fix a bra band that’s too tight.
This DIY bra extender is a very simple fix that will make a tight bra band larger. It works on all hook-and-eye bras that close in the back. (This hack is not for front-closing bras, or bras without fasteners such as sports bras.) The best part is that you can unclip the DIY bra band extender so that you can use it to make several different bras bigger. Or, you can wear the bra extender temporarily if you only need the extra room for one time of the month (or during a pregnancy). And since the extender is adjustable, you should be able to use it to find a perfect fit on multiple different bras.
After a quick search, I found that you can buy these ready-made bra extenders on Amazon. But I’m going to show you how to make your own bra extender by starting with a worn-out bra, and it only takes about two minutes.
How to Make a Bra Band Extender
I am using different colors of bras in the pictures: the red bras are the worn-out ones that I am using to show you how to make the bra extender. And the gray bra is the one with a band that is too tight. I’m also using contrasting thread so that you can see what I’m doing. I’d recommend using matching thread, but it really doesn’t matter that much. You’re probably not making a bra band extender to use as a fashion statement!
Cut the Hook and Eye Pieces Off of the Worn-Out Bra
Take a look at the hooks on the back of the worn-out bra. The hooks and eyes are attached to sturdy pieces of fabric that are sewn to the bra band. Cut these sturdy pieces of fabric off of the worn-out bra. (If you want to, you can use a seam ripper to cut the stitches, but you really don’t need to. Just cutting the bra band is fine.)
How to Sew the Bra Extender
Now sew the hook piece to the eye piece. Take a look at the pictures to make sure that the hooks are facing the right way. If the hooks are backwards, you won’t be able to attach the extender to your bra! If the eyes are facing up, the hooks need to be facing down.
You can hand-sew the pieces, and since it’s a small seam it only takes a minute or so. Sew into the hook side, then the eye side over and over. Keep sewing in a zigzag pattern, until the two fastener pieces of the bra are securely attached to each other.
Or you can use a sewing machine with a zigzag stitch. Butt the two pieces of fabric up next to each other, with the hooks facing up so that you don’t scratch your sewing machine. (But the eyes need to be facing down! Make sure you have the two pieces oriented correctly, as shown in the pictures above).
Sew with a zigzag stitch, catching one piece when the machine zigs, and the other piece when it zags. Make sure that the two fastener pieces of the bra are securely attached to each other.
When you’re done sewing, it should look something like this. Now you just need to clip the DIY extender onto a bra that’s too tight, and you’ve fixed it!
Other Tips for Achieving a Perfect Fit With Your Bra
The extender and the bra itself will both have several different sets of eyes. So, you have quite a few places you can fasten the hooks in order to find a perfect fit. (Wondering what those white dots on the bra strap are? That’s one of my Six Ways to Keep Bra Straps from Slipping off Your Shoulders!)
You might need to add more length to your bra than just adding the fastener pieces. In that case, you can sew a scrap of fabric or elastic in between the hook and eye pieces. This will make a longer bra extender. You will be able to add up to about 3 inches (7.5 cm) of extra room to your bra band this way, without altering the fit of the rest of the bra very much. If you try to add much more than that, you will probably find that the straps move too close to your armpits in the back, and the bra won’t be very comfortable. If your bra needs to be extended more than 3 inches, then the size is probably so wrong that you will need to get fitted for a bra that is a better size for you.
You may want to make an extender for one-hook, two-hook, and three-hook bras, if you own many different styles. However, you can use a three-hook extender to add length to a one- or two-hook bra. If you have all three styles that need to be altered, then you can just make a three-hook bra extender and be done with it.
Don’t have a worn-out bra on hand to make the extender? You can always get the ready-made bra extenders on Amazon. They aren’t expensive at all, but you know I always like to upcycle and DIY when I can!
Most of the projects on my blog are ones that I came up with myself. But my older sister Nichole actually showed me how to make this bra band extender when I was a teenager. So I’m giving her a shout-out here because it was a great idea!
Now you know how to fix a bra with a band that’s too tight! Give it a try today, or pin this idea for later. And remember, life is too short to wear uncomfortable underwear!